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Cryonics

Cryogenics

By Geobra GeoffPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Cryonics is a field that involves preserving human bodies or brains at very low temperatures with the hope of reviving them in the future when medical technology has advanced sufficiently. The idea behind cryonics is to prevent further deterioration of the body after death and to preserve it until a time when it might be possible to restore it to life or to transfer the person's consciousness into a new body or virtual environment.

The process of cryonics typically begins immediately after legal death has been declared. The body or head is cooled rapidly using techniques such as vitrification, which involves replacing the body's water with a cryoprotectant solution to prevent ice crystal formation and subsequent damage to cells. Once the body or brain has been vitrified, it is usually stored in liquid nitrogen at temperatures around -196 degrees Celsius (-320 degrees Fahrenheit) in specialized facilities called cryonics storage facilities.

Proponents of cryonics believe that future advances in technology, particularly in the areas of nanotechnology and medical science, may enable the revival and restoration of cryopreserved individuals. They envision a future where diseases can be cured, aging can be reversed, and the brain can be repaired and uploaded into a computer or transferred into a new body.

It's important to note that cryonics is a speculative and controversial field, and there are significant scientific and technical challenges associated with it. Critics argue that the preservation techniques used in cryonics may cause irreversible damage to cells and tissues, making successful revival unlikely. There are also ethical and philosophical debates surrounding the concept of cryonics, including questions about personal identity, the nature of consciousness, and the allocation of resources.

Cryonics, an outcome of cryogenics:

Cryogenics is the branch of physics and engineering that deals with the production and behavior of materials at extremely low temperatures. Cryogenics is closely related to cryonics, but they are not the same. Cryogenics focuses on the study and practical applications of very low temperatures, while cryonics specifically pertains to the preservation of biological matter, such as human bodies or brains, at cryogenic temperatures.

In cryogenics, various gases, such as nitrogen, helium, or hydrogen, are used as cryogenic agents to achieve and maintain extremely low temperatures. These gases are liquefied through a process called cryogenic refrigeration, where they are cooled and condensed. The liquefied gases, known as cryogens, have boiling points well below room temperature.

The most commonly used cryogen in cryonics is liquid nitrogen, which has a boiling point of approximately -196 degrees Celsius (-320 degrees Fahrenheit). Liquid nitrogen is an inert and relatively inexpensive substance that is readily available.

To preserve biological matter in cryonics, the process typically involves vitrification, which is the conversion of a substance into a glass-like solid without the formation of ice crystals. Vitrification prevents ice crystal formation, which can cause cellular damage during freezing and thawing.

In the case of cryopreserving a human body or brain, the process begins by rapidly cooling the tissue using cryoprotectants. Cryoprotectants are chemicals that help prevent ice crystal formation and cellular damage. These cryoprotectants are typically infused into the tissues to replace the water content. Once the tissue is cryoprotected, it is gradually cooled to very low temperatures using liquid nitrogen or another cryogenic agent. The tissue is then stored in specialized cryogenic storage containers or tanks, where it remains in a state of suspended animation at cryogenic temperatures.

The hope is that, in the future, advances in technology and medical science will allow for the revival and restoration of cryopreserved individuals by reversing the processes that led to their death or by transferring their consciousness to a new substrate.

It's important to note that cryogenics and cryonics are complex fields with ongoing research and development. The feasibility and success of cryonics as a means of preserving and reviving biological matter are still subjects of debate and exploration.

This being said, cryonics remains an experimental practice, and there are no documented cases of successfully revived cryopreserved individuals. However, some people have chosen to undergo cryonics procedures as an expression of their hope for a future where re-animation or mind uploading becomes possible.

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Geobra Geoff

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    Geobra GeoffWritten by Geobra Geoff

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